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OLESYA V. STROEVA
GITR Film & Television School,
THE FATE OF DYSTOPIAS AND NEOLIBERAL VALUES IN MODERN SERIAL PRODUCTION
Abstract. The genre of dystopia is not among the most highly rated, since its character is usually critical and not entertaining. This is why the phenomenon of a growing number of dystopia remakes in the entertainment media industry is of scientific interest. Traditionally, dystopia was aimed at actualizing political problems related to the interaction between a state and a person. Apparently, contemporary totalitarianism is acquiring new features and is no longer a specific organization of state power in a particular country, but is associated with globalization, the development of macro-businesses and digitalization. Totalitarianism is being transformed from a political category to an economic one; consumerism in a society does the same in culture and art, which signs the French philosophers have been noticing since the second half of the 20th century. The question to be answered is whether the genre of dystopia in modern screen culture fulfills its function—critical evaluation of the modern totalitarianism. The research concerns an adaptation of F.K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. The analysis, however, is not cinematic, but cultural, as it is carried out in the context of the general socio-economic situation and the interpretation of the global digital macroeconomics as a possible manifestation of modern totalitarianism. In cultural analysis, a separate screen work becomes a manifestation of various tendencies, therefore, the study uses theoretical material from different areas such as existential philosophy of the twentieth century, Chinese philosophy, as well as sociopolitical criticism of the modern society. The methodology of reasoning in this context cannot be reduced only to the analysis of the film, but should be based on the principle of hermeneutic circles, since both the book and the series contain several semantic layers that must be correlated with the general cultural context. The author concludes that due to the economic and political pressure on the media industry, the processes of globalization and neoliberal “totalitarianism”, mass film products are frequently turning into certain clichés and ideological models, which is in itself a well-disguised dystopia.
Keywords: dystopia, neoliberalism, media culture, Taoism, existentialism, mass culture, simulacra, TV series, smart city